Thrifty Thursday: Free entertainment and ideas for saving on gas!

Are you looking for some free entertainment this weekend? If you are a Bank of America card holder (and it can be ANY card), you can get free admission to over 70 museums across the country the first weekend of every month. All you have to do is show them your card. You can check out the details here and find out what museums are available in your area here.

In addition, as Easter weekend and summer vacation approach and families have more reasons to travel, I thought I’d share these money saving travel tips that I received from Jiffy Lube:

We can shave off dollars and cents every day by doing little things. The tips below from the car-care experts at Jiffy Lube will not only help keep your vehicle in top shape – helping to avoid potentially costly breakdowns in the future – and put a few dollars back in your pocket.

*Engine Air Filter: An air filter is essentially your vehicle’s lung. A clean air filter helps the engine “breathe” and run more efficiently, while a clogged one makes the engine work harder. According to the Federal Government, replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car’s gas mileage by as much as 10%. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for when to replace your engine air filter.

*Tires: Tires can be gas bandits as under-inflated tires create extra friction where the rubber meets the road. Incorrectly inflated tires also wear unevenly, which can impact your vehicle’s traction on the road and possibly lead to a dangerous blowout. According to the Federal Government, you can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. You can find your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure information in the vehicle owner’s manual or often on a decal typically in the vehicle’s door jamb or in the vehicle owner’s manual.

*Oil Grade: Motor oil lubricates the engine, keeping it cool and reducing friction between moving parts. As the motor oil circulates, it also cleans away harmful dirt and contaminants. When motor oil gets too dirty, it loses some of its lubrication and absorption abilities. According to the Federal Government, using your vehicle owner’s manual recommended grade oil can improve your gas mileage up to 2% — savings which can add up over time! Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for the correct grade of motor oil for your vehicle.

*Lighten Your Load: Extra weight means more strain on your vehicle and more fuel burn. According to the Federal Government, vehicle drag can decrease your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by 2%. Leave unnecessary items at home before setting out on a drive.

*Avoid Aggressive Driving: According to the Federal Government, rapid acceleration/braking can lower your gas mileage up to 5% around town.

*Carpooling: Taking advantage of carpools could cut your weekly gas usage in half. Not only will mom save a few bucks, but she’ll get some much-needed time back!

We all value our summer vacations – they allow us to de-stress and recharge. A recent Jiffy Lube International survey that reveals despite the economy, people are not deterred from taking a vacation this year. In fact, plans for summer travel are up 4% from last year. One way people are being economical, yet still enjoying themselves is planning trips to places that cost little to no money – such as the beach, historical sites, national parks and museums. I’ve included statistics on the top summer vacation destinations below.

Think the economy has travelers staying at home this summer? That’s not the case according to a new survey from Jiffy Lube International.

*88% of people surveyed say they plan on taking a vacation this summer, a 4% increase from 2008.

*While people are not willing to sacrifice their vacation, they are however changing how they get there. 71% of travelers plan to jump in their family car, avoiding buying plane or train tickets and long security lines; 30% prefer air travel, and 12% plan to travel by bus or train (six% each).

Top 2009 summer vacation destinations (according to a recent Jiffy Lube International survey):
*The beach (63%)
*Historical sites (51%)
*A national park (46%)
*Museums (40%)

Survey Methodology: The Jiffy Lube International survey was conducted via telephone interviews during the period of February 19-22, 2009. The survey included a national probability sample of 1,001 adults comprising of 500 men and 501 women 18 years of age or older, living in the Continental United States. The survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.